Legal History

Owing to longstanding links between the Corcoran Department of History and the Law School, UVA is one of the nation’s premier centers for legal history. We have a large group, with depth in U.S. law and unusual range covering law’s history around the world. Members of our community study everything from crime in colonial Virginia and slaves’ use of the law to the Civil War and civil rights. We write about the law of piracy in the Mediterranean and legal relations across the Indian Ocean. Some of us explore colonial and post-colonial legal regimes from India to Mexico; others study modern human rights. We also contribute our scholarship to resolving current legal controversies. Our JD/MA program in legal history allows graduate and law students to share their distinct perspectives in their courses and outside of them. Two other activities bring us together. Our Legal History Workshop draws scholars from beyond UVA to discuss their scholarly work with us. More informally, we gather in a Legal History Writing Group to share writing in progress.

Graduate Student

Joint JD/MA Candidate
Themes: Legal History
Office Hours: Wednesday 1:30-3:30 (virtual) and by appointment
Themes: Cultural and Social History, Legal History, Military & War History, Political History


Associate Professor, Indian Ocean History, Rouhollah Ramazani Associate Professor of Arabian Peninsula and Gulf Studies
Nau 253
Office Hours: M/T/W, 1:00-2:00PM on Zoom
Themes: Economic History & History of Capitalism, Empire & Colonialism, Legal History, Spatial History, Frontiers, & Migration, Transnational and Diplomatic History
John L. Nau III Distinguished Professor of the History and Principles of Democracy
NAU 491
Office Hours: By Appointment
Themes: History of Slavery, Legal History
Associate Professor, Brockman Foundation Jefferson Scholars Foundation Professor
Nau 384
Office Hours: On Leave
Themes: Empire & Colonialism, History of Slavery, Legal History, Race & Ethnicity
Arnold H. Leon Professor of Law and Dean of the School of Law, Professor of History
Law WB 389
Office Hours: F 12:00 - 1:30
Themes: Cultural and Social History, Labor History, Legal History, Race & Ethnicity
Julian Bishko Professor of History, Professor of Law
Nau 454
Office Hours: ON LEAVE
Themes: Empire & Colonialism, Legal History, Material Culture, Transnational and Diplomatic History
Professor, Director, Center for Global Inquiry and Innovation, Hotel A
Nau 382
Office Hours: T, 11:00AM-12:00PM; W/TR 2:00-3:30PM
Themes: Economic History & History of Capitalism, Empire & Colonialism, Legal History
John B. Minor Professor of Law and Professor of History
361 Law
Office Hours: N/A
Themes: Intellectual History & History of Ideas, Legal History
Joshua M. White
Associate Professor, Director, Distinguished Majors Program
Nau 355
Office Hours: Tuesday, 3-5 PM and by appointment
Themes: Cultural and Social History, Empire & Colonialism, History of Slavery, Legal History, Transnational and Diplomatic History